How to Sell Fiction on the Internet
Suzan L. Wiener
Want to write for the Internet? Hereís a way I
found that has helped me make more sales and should help you too.
found writing for the Internet is quite different from writing for print
magazines. Print magazines have more space which allows the writer a bit
more leeway to write somewhat Ďloosely.í In a print magazine, you can
explain the character's background in a broader scope, and give character
traits, etc. When your story appears on the Internet, it needs to be tightly
Of course, the author has to make every word count there also, but on the
Internet you need to start your story where the action is. That is the most
important. You need to build the conflict (action) to keep the editor and
reader interested. And, the climax of your story must be credible. For
instance, if you are writing a story for children, donít have an adult solve
the childís problem. Have the child solve it. Otherwise, the editor will
lose interest in it. What could have been a sale, unfortunately wonít be.
I always do a plot outline when I write short stories. Here is what I
follow that helps to organization my story. It will help you also.
I. Major characters
a. List the main character(s)
II. Minor characters
a. List the minor character(s)
III. Complications (should always move the story forward)
IV. Subplot (if any)
V. Crisis (turning point)
VI. Resolution (end of story)
Below are several tips to help you get that most- welcomed acceptance.
Make your writing tight and get to the point immediately.
This is very important. You have to grab the editorís and readerís
interest immediately with your story. This way, the editor wonít reject it
out-of-hand. They will want to keep reading. Donít wait until you get to the
third paragraph. It must draw the editor and reader in in the first
sentence. Make it as interesting as you can. If the reader is sleepy, get
her or him to wake up quickly with your exciting words.
Make sure to double-check spelling errors, etc. Online editors donít
have time to check for that. (nor do print editors for that matter). They
want you to do the editing. If there are too many errors, your piece will
definitely be rejected. Use a spell-checker.
Even if you check several times itís easy to miss something. Make sure
your words flow smoothly. If it sounds choppy, it wonít pass the first
reader and will be rejected. Read it out loud to get the way it sounds and
edit any words that arenít needed.
Make sure you know what youíre writing about. Donít write about
something you only have a little knowledge about. Make sure to research what
you need to know, giving credit when you use sources and quotes. The
editor will know if youíre not familiar with your subject. Double check the
information you have cited and give credit to the author. Asking for their
permission is the right thing to do.
Read the guidelines and study their past issues. If you do this, you
will have a better feel for what they need and you wonít send in something
inappropriate, wasting your time and worse, the editorís time. If you donít
follow their guidelines, the editor will think you didnít take time with
your work either. Look at search engines like ďGoogle,Ē for writing markets
that sell fiction online. Simply type in Ďpaying writing markets,' and click
the search button.
Try submitting your work to paying markets first. Donít sell yourself
short and think your work isnít good enough to get payment for it.
If the editor wants you to edit your story, let him/her. Donít think
that your words are so wonderful they canít be changed. If they feel you are
not going to cooperate with them, your submission wonít find its way to
If you follow the above rules, youíll most likely to see your work on the
Internet and a have a most-welcomed check in your mailbox.
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About the Writer:
Suzan L. Wiener
has had many articles on writing, short stories, poems and other short
pieces published in Coffee Break for Writers, MetroSeven
(Australia), Sacred Twilight, Mature
Living, Mature Years, NEB Publishing, Saturday Evening Post, etc. She
now has unrhymed and rhymed e-books and chapbooks up at
The Readers Retreat